Giants Accra Hearts of Oak consolidated their place at the top of the Ghana Premier League table after beating Berekum Chelsea 2-0 at the Accra Sports Stadium on Sunday evening.
Benjamin Afutu Kotey headed home the opening goal from a Salifu Ibrahim well-weighted corner kick on the 10th minute mark before Kwadwo Obeng Junior netted what has been described as a breathtaking strike 19 minutes after the opener.
Hearts coach Samuel Boadu handed starting berths to Robert Addo, Ibrahim Salifu, Isaac Mensah and Kwadwo Obeng Junior while injury returnee Patrick Razak started from the bench.
However his Berekum Chelsea counterpart Seth Hoffman named former Ghana goalkeeper Ernest Sowah in goal along with Stephen Amankona while Stephen Anokye Badu, Abdul Basit and Kofi Owusu all started the game for the Blues.
Hearts began the game on a high tempo and determined to claim the maximum points and the tie did not travel far before Afutu headed home the opening goal. But before the opening goal would arrive Isaac Mensah had fired a fierce shot at the goal of Ernest Sowah inside the opening 2 minutes of the tie.
On the 9th minute Emmanuel Nettey combined well with Congolese left-back Raddy Ovouka on the left and the Congo international was about to unleash a cross into the box when the Chelsea defender applied a sliding clearance to intercept his ball for a corner. Ibrahim Salifu went for the ball and delivered a well-calibrated corner which was headed home by Afutu to register the opening goal with 10 minutes gone on the clock.
Moments later Stephen Amankona tried to respond for the visitors when he steered a powerfully taken free kick from 30 yards which was collected by the Hearts keeper. On the 17th minute mark Amankona once again went one-on-one with Hearts keeper Richard Attah but he saw his effort blocked off by the inflated body of the Hearts shot-stopper.
After a series of spurned chances by both sides the all-running Daniel Afriyie Barnie freed up Kwadwo Obeng Junior and the attacker employed a sweet control to his pass before unleashing an ferocious left-footer that beat Sowah in the Chelsea goal and sent the Phobian fraternity to ecstatic mood.
Obeng Junior could have grabbed a double soon after but his alertness let him down as Ernest Sowah missed an attempted high-flying save.
After the break Chelsea regrouped and attempted to grab something from the game but Hearts remained resolute and managed the game well to end the tie 2-0 and Robert Addo even thought he had scored his first goal of the season when his rocket-propelled shot hit the side-post.
The win has taken Hearts of Oak to 49 points – 2 points above second-placed Asante Kotoko. The Phobians have won their last 5 games in the league and are in the form of their lives. No team has been able to breach the Hearts defence since Dreams FC beat them 2-0 on matchday 22.
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